Fires in Bulgaria

Fires in Bulgaria

7 September 2008

Severe Fires burning in Rila National Park

Update on the situation

At 16:37 local time on 03.09.2008 a forest fire started in the mountainous area of the national park “Rila” – region Blagoevgrad.

The fire has been developing at latitude of 1800 to 2100 meters above sea level in a rugged terrain with a slope reaching up to 45 degrees at certain areas. Dry grass vegetation, peat and coniferous forests in an area of app. 130 hectares are in flames.

More than 220 people from the Bulgarian rescue services have been deployed on the site of the fire and succeeded to localize the fire in its northern, eastern and southeastern flank on Friday.

The fire is spreading to West- South direction. Efforts to localize the fire in its western and Southwestern flank are ongoing. The geo- coordinates of the disaster area are as follows: 42”,3,’0” N; 23″,20″,0”E

With the available human and technical resources the firefighting is done by hand due to the rugged terrain, which is inaccessible for firefighting equipment. The high temperatures and the strong wind additionally impede the fire extinguishing activities.

Human settlements in the area of the fire are not endangered for the time being.

Request for assistance

On 6 September 2008, after assessment of the situation, Bulgaria issued a request for assistance through CECIS for three (3)  fire-fighting helicopters and 1aerial forest fire fighting module using airplane

The entry point is Plovdiv airport  (Geo coordinates 42°, 04′, 04” N;  24°, 51′, 03” E)

MIC immediately approached bilaterally a few participating States to explore possibilities for providing helicopters and aircrafts: Portugal, Austria, Italy and Greece informed the MIC that they were not in a position to provide assistance.

Offers of assistance

France has offered to dispatch one forest fire fighting module composed of two water bombers (canadairs) and  a coordination plane (beech 200), and a fire brigade officer. Aircrafts will leave Marseille Provence airport on Sunday morning and are expected to arrive on site in the afternoon.

Depending on the evolution of the situation and further additional needs, Spain is considering positively the request.

Source:Monitoring and Information Centre for Civil Protection – MIC

Figure 1. MODIS-derived map with active fires burning in Bulgaria on 7 September 2008. Click on image for identifying Mt. Rila National Park. Source: DLR

Figure 2. Mt. Rila National Park has been affected bysmall, very destructive wildfires in the past.
Thisphotograph taken by GFMC in 2002 shows a pine “Krummholz”affected by fire in 2000.

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